The Ultimate Backpack Buying Guide

The Ultimate Backpack Buying Guide
03/11/2019 sam

Strap in for a guided tour through our selection of feature-filled and eminently stylish backpacks

Dashing around town, heading to the gym, hiking in the hills or getting away for the weekend?

Our backpack selection is a huge focus at Bear & Bear, we favour the versatile, the functional and the downright dashing. A backpack is the ultimate everyday companion and we’ve put together a selection for this buying guide that will stand the test of any journey.

With a strong emphasis on robustness and innovation, we stock a strong range of specialist backpacks. Whilst they vary in style; they can all handle the stress of fast-paced city life or the most vigorous of adventures.

In this backpack buying guide we break down some of the best choices depending one what you might be using your backpack for.



Selected specifically to take the stress and hassle out of your daily commute, be it on a bike or the trusty (not so trusty) underground. Here are three bags that have the potential to improve every working day of your life.


The 20L Tokyo Totepack in Black defies normal categorisation with its dual appearance and exceptional functionality. Designed as a very comfortable backpack that can quickly become an easy-carry tote bag, it excels for the urban cyclist who doesn’t want to wear a backpack to meetings.

The 14L SIV in Black Leather from Sandqvist is the ideal carrier for tackling city living. Exhibiting a secure and stylish roll-top design, you can rest assured your belongings are safe. The front has an easy access pocket and the main compartment is shut with a metal hook closure. It’s main fabrics are all made from recycled materials.

Designed by everyday carry specialists, Bellroy, this 20L Second Edition of their very popular Classic Backpack is a marvel. Made from fabric woven from recycled plastic bottles, it is highly durable, lightweight and water-resistant. There are plenty of quick access pockets externally plus a range of smart features and pockets on the inside.


Weekend Breaks

These vessels have been carefully designed for a great weekend escape. Each one packs in some ingenious features that will make your trip a breeze. Just don’t forget your phone charger.

Designed to be used as both a duffle bag and backpack, Alchemy Equipment’s water-resistant 45L Carry On is a great choice for weekend trips and smaller adventures. Designed using Heavy ATY Nylon, waxed Kodra and 3x PU coating on 900 denier Kodra nylon, this carry on has been purposefully crafted to handle the stress of any journey with incredible durability. Internally you have a fantastic 45L compartment with an external separate 15” laptop pouch with a self-ejecting mechanism.

This exceptionally comfortable 28L backpack from Bellroy has the capacity to fit a surprising amount of kit, whilst still meeting all airline baggage restrictions for carry-on. Useful features include a quick access 15″ laptop compartment and external-access pockets that allow you to invisibly store your passport and other treasured possessions. Inside there are compression straps to reduce water space.

This 32L rucksack from Millican might be designed with walkers in mind, but it’s a mighty fine travel pack. It features an easy access 15″ laptop compartment, highly durable materials, sizeable side pockets, plenty of internal accessory pockets and very comfortable shoulder and waist straps. This is a very streamlined alpine-style bag that will suit a range of trips.


Exploring the Great Outdoors

You don’t have to be a seasoned adventurer to appreciate the focus on durability and functionality of these pioneering companions. These backpacks have all the trimmings needed for a serious hike, but with streamlined good looks to boot.

Sandqvist have gone back to their roots in adventure whilst utilising a very stylish silhouette in this 21L backpack. Solidly constructed with water-resistant and hard-wearing Condura® EcoMade polyester, it features plenty of pockets, a 13″ laptop compartment and water resistant zippers.

The all-new Freerain24 from Matador is the ultimate stowable backpack for long adventures, serious strike missions and hikes. Designed to be ultra-light, the Freerain has been crafted with coated, water-resistant rip-stop nylon that’s as hardy and durable, as it is lightweight. All of the hardware used has been designed with siliconised waterproof coating, leaving no weak link in the durability.

The Smith 25L from Millican is a roll-top daypack that’s perfect for the active commuter who likes an outdoor adventure. It’s packed full of features that are useful in urban and outdoor environments, including a laptop sleeve, external and internal pockets plus removable waist and sternum straps. The highly durable material and design are backed up by a lifetime guarantee.


Streamlined Silhouettes

If you’re looking for something sleek that doesn’t cut back on features, then these are for you. All these slim backpacks have all been thoughtfully tailored to minimise size whilst retaining internal volume.


The Alva backpack by Sandqvist is constructed of robust 18oz cotton canvas and vegetable tanned leather. This sophisticated and functional bag is a superb everyday essential with an interior 13” laptop and iPad compartment and a large interior for all your gear.

The 18L Studio Backpack is the ultimate everyday backpack for creatives. It features a large main compartment and a plethora of multi-use organisational pockets. The main compartment is perfect for larger items and includes a 15″ laptop sleeve and smaller organisational pockets. You will also find deep soft mesh accessory pockets ideal for sunglasses, cables and small items. It is a streamlined and highly functional backpack.

The 10L Backpack Mini from Rains is the smaller version of the Backpack original. It has a contemporary and refined design with a simple quick-access single magnetic hook secure closure. Its clean aesthetic makes this an ideal everyday backpack.

So that’s a wrap-up of our backpack buying guide, you can view our full collection of feature-filled backpacks here. If you need any assistance making a decision then get in touch and we’d be happy to help. We do love match-making people with their perfect bag.